Fluoride Stays, Ash Wins, Local Food Wins, Knox County Dispatch to Get New Home
Local Ballot Results—
Thursday, November 10, 2011 9:09 AM
Towns and cities in the midcoast reported good turnout for an off-year election that included four statewide ballot measures and many local issues around the three-county midcoast area.
In state news, Mainers rejected recent changes limiting when people can register to vote. Mainers voted in large numbers to keep voter registration available up to and including election day. In past elections, Mainers have taken advantage of registering on election day in large numbers by providing proof of residency at the polls.
Mainers rejected allowing local voters to decide if they wanted casinos in Lewiston, Scarborough and Washington County.
By a slight margin, Mainers voted yes to changing the timetable for redistricting of Congressional districts to more closely align with the timetable of the U.S. Census. The next Congressional redistricting will now be held in 2021 and every tenth year thereafter.
Knox County Approves Dispatch Center
Knox County voted to borrow $2.5 million to buy and renovate 301 Park Street in Rockland in order to house the Knox County Emergency Management Agency, the Sheriff's office and the Knox County Regional Communications Center. The building, which currently houses the Village Soup newspaper, is located next to the county jail.
Rockland: Yes on Rec, No on Garage
Rockland voters approved (1,107-656) borrowing $675,000 to pay to get rid of mold at the Rockland Recreation Center and make other improvements that will keep water from seeping into the building.
But they voted down a $2.9 million bond to build a sand and salt shed and a new public works garage by a slim margin (876-864). Rockland city clerk Stuart Sylvester said no-one has challenged the vote count.
"A challenge would have to be initiated by a citizen. The city council can't do it," said Sylvester. "No one has stepped forward to ask."
To get a recount, voters must submit a petition requesting a recount to city hall with the signatures of 100 Rockland voters who voted in the November 8, 2011, election. The deadline is the close of business next Wednesday, said Sylvester.
Brian Messing bested Christopher Veilleux (845-608)
for an open seat for a 1-year term on the RSU 13 school board.
Belfast Re-elects Walter Ash
Incumbent mayor Walter Ash won re-election over contender Jim O'Conner (1,333-847). Write-in candidates Larry Theye, Evelyn Littlefield and Susan Cooney will take seats as clerk wardens and ward clerks, whose duties focus on election days. No one stepped forward to fill two empty seats on the RSU 20 school board. According to the city clerk, the city council will now accept applications to fill those board positions until the 2012 election.
Camden Approves All Local Issues
Camden voters approved (1,440-481) spending $524,282 to buy a fire truck, gave the nod (1,583-278) to giving the Penobscot Regional Chamber of Commerce a free 20-year lease on the building on the public landing, and passed (1,593-286) the PACE energy saving ordinance, which will allow Camdenites to apply for low-interest loans for energy-saving improvements to their homes.
Lincolnville Gives Land to Habitat
Lincolnville voters agreed (633-138) to donate 1.66 acres on the Greenacre Road to Habitat for Humanity, the non-profit that builds houses for low-income people who are willing to invest sweat equity of their own in the building process and agree to pay back a low-interest rate mortgage to the nonprofit.
Rockporters Say Sell Old School
In a non-binding vote, Rockport voters rejected (662-562) keeping town ownership of the former Rockport Elementary School, a 7.67-acre property with a ball field that is located at the intersection of Routes 1 and 90 in Rockport.
Town voters gave the thumbs up (890-301) to the PACE energy-saving ordinance, which will allow residents access to low-interest loans for home energy-saving improvements.
Damariscotta and Newcastle
Voters approved keeping fluoride as an additive to the municipal drinking water in Damariscotta (453-317) and Newcastle (401-350). Fluoride is added to water in order to prevent tooth decay.
Hope Votes to Bypass Food Laws
Voters approved an ordinance (391-154) that declares local food producers are exempt from state food licensing and inspection when the food is sold directly to the consumer or sold at a community event. The text of the ordinance declares that the town will "protect their fundamental and inalienable right to self government" should the state or federal government try to impose any restrictions on local food.
The ordinance also exempts local food producers from liability if the buyer waives that right when purchasing the food item.
Town residents also approved (320-261) spending $295,000 to renovate the town office.
Cushing Limits Wind Turbines
Cushing residents voted (273-181) to limit the size of wind turbines to 80 feet tall and to adhere to state-imposed noise-limit levels coming from the wind turbines. This action will keep large commercial wind turbines out of the town of Cushing.
Voters also approved (253-192) setting new standards for drug dispensaries, such as methadone clinics, and other new non-residential land uses.
Cushing voters also approved (263-184) amending the shoreland zoning ordinance so that abutters of any property that applies for a non-residential use permit will be notified. Cushing also approved (292-155) the signage and naming of public roads.
Wiscasset Votes to Leave RSU 12
Wiscasset voters said yes (917-220) to withdrawing from the RSU 12 school district, in a non-binding vote that serves as a poll for local sentiment. Local selectmen have said in the past that they plan to use the outcome of the vote to help them decide whether they should seek legal advice about the procedure for withdrawel.
Voters also agreed (1,014-135) to devote $5,000 from town fees to the town waste water system budget.
Friendship Changes Harbor Board
Friendship voters approved (358-57) that the town legally secure boundaries of the old town dump. On harbor issues, the residents approved (301-114) establishing rules on how the town harbor board should be run and approved (300-113) the change from a unanimous vote needed on the harbor board to enact a decision to a two-thirds majority.
Waldoboro Restricts Drug Clinics
Waldoboro residents approved (967-562) restricting the location of medical marijuana facilities and (862-663) methadone and drug clinics to the Route 1 Commercial A district.
Residents also approved (878-632) refinancing a water department bond at a lower rate.